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20 Things I Know Now, That I Wish I Knew Then (The Special Needs Parent-Ninja Arts)

    From time to time I get asked, “Do you have any advice for a Special Needs Parent?”  It’s usually from someone freshly reeling from their child’s diagnosis, or a friend who wants to be supportive. BLESS THEM. To which I say (or think), Ohboyohboyboy! (and start mentally salivating.) I devoted this blog on Special Needs parenting to discuss exactly that: The...

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I’ll Never Hear, “I Love You, Mommy” (Lies The Devil Tells)

  As the mother of a non-verbal child with autism, I know lots of other mom-friends of children who don’t speak. We seldom discuss it. But, oh, how we all long to hear, “I love you, Mommy.” For my son, it took years of intensive speech and behavioral therapy before he could even identify me as Mommy: He paired my laminated picture with the word on a flash card. I’ll take it. One night, I...

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Fatherhood, Hijacked | When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan

    In the world of Special Needs parenting, moms usually get all the press (well, of the press we do get.)  Mom is usually the one to duke it out at IEP meetings.  Moms rule most of the blogosphere.  Moms march on Capitol Hill.  And all those da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael depictions of the Madonna? (The Virgin, not Like a Virgin)  Nary a father to be seen.  But what about Dad?...

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“What About My Child?!” Amidst Grads, Gowns & Grief, A Different Story Unfolds

  Ah, the merry month of June!  A joyous and hectic season.  Flurrying about between graduations and gowns, gifts and weddings. “What’s next?  Which college?  What city?  Which company?” Their graduations and gowns; their shiny gifts and weddings.  I smile to suppress the slight rankle of bittersweet.  For within these hallowed months, the ghost of my Idealized Child...

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What Now? Overwhelmed & Underqualified | When Life’s Got You Hiding in an Upper Room

    “Who me?  A Special Needs Parent?  I can’t do this!  I’m not qualified.” Growing up, I was afraid of those handicapped kids, tucked away in the portables at the rear of campus.  I probably even used The R Word.  Even as an adult, I avoided making eye contact with someone in a wheelchair.   “Do I make eye contact, or is that rude?  Should I open the door for them or is that...

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Special Teams (The Kicker) | A Post-Game Huddle

Confession: I’m not much of a football person.  I just can’t wrap my brain around all the rules.  I’m not a rules person.  As they say in the Pirates of the Caribbean, “Rules? They’re more like guidelines, anyways…” Most of the time, I’m like this,   But I can get into a Super Bowl party (who doesn’t love a snack buffet?)  One of my primitive questions was,  “Lemme get this straight: ...

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When Your Temple Gets Wrecked: From Hallowed to Hollowed & Back Again

    Perhaps an ultrasound detected an abnormality: a potential genetic defect.  Perhaps physical evidence presented itself at birth: a disfigurement.  Perhaps years went by of blissful childhood, until subtle hints began to emerge: a series of missed developmental milestones, or a disconcerting sense of “something just not right.” Regardless of how incremental the onset, the...

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Mary: How is this “Blessed and Highly Favored”?!

    In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting...

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Unwelcome Gifts: Ambushed by Grace

Have you ever been ambushed by a gift?  Did the Gifter insist, even though you swore up and down you didn’t need it?  Did they end up being right?  Yeah, me too. *********************************** December 2005.  Christmas was approaching.  At the time, my husband and I were directing a college ministry.   ‘Twas the season of broomball events, gift exchanges and care packages for the...

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Waiting through fear and grief, “Do not be afraid!”

  “Your child has autism.  He’ll need at least 40 hours of intensive therapy a week.  He may not learn to speak, function or live independently.  He’ll likely not go to college, marry, or have his own family.  You’ll have to abort your plans and rearrange your lives to care for him full-time.  His prognosis? Unknown.  You’ll just have to wait and see.” In...

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